Gold Hill councilman resigns
GOLD HILL — Just one week after an election to fill a council seat vacated in a contentious recall campaign, another council member has resigned his four-year term after just one year in office.
Councilman Scott Baker delivered a letter of resignation to City Hall on Tuesday.
Contacted at his home, Baker cited personal reasons and a busy schedule for leaving his post.
"It was mostly about the time," he said. "I just don't have the time to devote. I've got too many things going on in life, and if I can't do it wholeheartedly, I'm not going to do it at all. It doesn't do justice to the city."
Baker's resignation happened less than a day after a public works accident occurred in which a tire on a city vehicle blew out, causing the vehicle to crash into the guardrail at the bridge over Rogue River.
Public Works Director Royal Gasso declined comment on Baker's resignation other than to say, after meeting with Baker recently regarding the accident and "issues with the truck," that he had no idea Baker planned to resign until hearing he had done so.
Gasso noted that Baker arrived on scene during the accident and that a sobriety test had been administered to public works employees involved and he was "unsure why that was necessary."
Baker confirmed he made a special trip to look into the accident but denied his resignation had anything to do with the incident.
"It had nothing to do with the accident," Baker said. "That isn't why I resigned. The thing is somebody said something that I said that was untrue and that actually made me mad because of the simple fact somebody put words in my mouth. "¦ There are some people in Gold Hill that are going to stir the pot no matter what."
Baker's resignation comes on the heels of a recall election for former Councilwoman Kathleen Price.
In a previous election, Baker was found to have violated election law in a failed recall attempt against Jan Fish, Donna Silva and Gus Wolf, in 2006, in which he signed a statement verifying he had witnessed recall petition signatures, which he had not.
Friday, Wolf confirmed Baker had resigned and said he had recently discussed policies and procedures just before Baker's decision to resign but was not expecting Baker's resignation and had no comment as to why he had done so.
Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.